Why are discipline and punishment so prevalent in the BDSM lifestyle and culture? What makes them so widespread in use and form? This is the second part of the series on Correction, Discipline & Punishment.
A Word on Abuse
There is, at least in my mind, a clear delineation between Punishment and Abuse. Punishment is used as a training/teaching tool to help condition the slave to adhere to correct behavior, while abuse serves little point other than to make the inflicter feel better about themselves and oft follows little rhyme or reason other than whim, volatile emotions, and a lack of control.
Signs of abuse:
- Angrily Performed – A responsible Dominant punishes after careful thought and consideration as to how it will shape behavior. They never execute any punishment rashly or when not in full control of themselves. Any action taken while enraged or loss of tempter is out of control and thus has higher risk & consequences for all involved.
- Blames the victim – A responsible Dominant takes accountability and responsibility for their own actions. An abuser will often blame shift to deflect any responsibility or accountability for their actions. Remember – the sub or slave cannot MAKE the Dominant do anything… Any response you give is one of CHOICE.
- Causes injury or trauma – A responsible Dominant’s instinct should be to protect their prized possession, not break or damage it. Ours is to foster trust, not destroy it; to deepen the commitment and love – not inspire Fear of us. Those that seek the other way are typically verifiable misogynists or suffer from psychopathy. It does not matter if the form of the injury is psycho emotional, broken bones, organ trauma, profuse bleeding, PTSD, etc.
A punishment has a full line of reason and logic that can be fully explained BEFORE it ever begins. The Dominant should be able to state exactly why the punishment is being considered, able to recount prior steps that led to this point, explain how the the nature of the punishment relates to the challenge, and can clearly state what will happen afterwards as a part of the healing process (i.e. forgiveness, comfort, rest & retry at later time).
Actions of abuse, on the other hand, are typically rationalized after the fact. This is usually offered through reverse engineering excuses to seem as if there is a good logic or reason involved. Any story is therefore delivered after the incident is likely abuse, for the story only serves to alleviate any guilt the perpetrator may feel, serving to justify their own poor behavior to themselves.
This is why codifying and having an established set of punishments well discussed in advance. For one it ensures that consequences are understood and are fully Consensual. For another, it helps all involved to have a source of reference to check against and a way to ensure decisions and understandings are consistent (which is a key benefit of power exchange oriented relationships).
The tools of correction, discipline, or punishment are used to correct bad behavior and break old habits – and are driven through the need to protect and guide. It is not about making Dom feel better, but to correct and delineate between acknowledging an issue, communicating displeasure, working on a solution, and then moving forward with love and acceptance. Any measure of punishment should not be injurious, spiteful, fitful, uncontrolled, untimely, or selfish.
- If you are a sub – No matter what, you cannot MAKE them hurt you. It was a choice, their choice and theirs alone, period. Get out now!
- If you are a Dom there is one rule: Do-Not-Break. If you are pushed that far, then this is a toxic relationship and you need to release that submissive ASAP, for your own sanity if nothing else.
Copyright 2015 – Limits Unleashed, LLC